LRF in the Time of COVID: How WFM’s Working for Us
The Call to Action
On April 23rd, we had our first all-staff Zoom call, where all 80+ members – admin, drivers, helpers, counselors, special educators, social workers, psychologists, project heads, directors and the Executive Director – dialled in from different parts of the world. We wanted to make sure everyone’s on the same page about how we’re going to move ahead as we continue work with families, many of who are struggling financially, mentally and emotionally, and kids for whom the lockdown can present severe setbacks. As an organization that cherishes our amazing, dedicated staff, we’re also trying to support each other, both professionally and personally.
At our assessment center, Gubbara, Project Head and therapist Sandeep Khanna keeps in regular touch via Whatsapp calls with the team to make sure that work proceeds as planned. Our special educator Shivani Kapoor and psychologist communicate with parents as often as is needed. This could be twice a week for some, and once a month for others. The purpose is to keep track of the children’s progress, and support the parents’ mental wellness. Some parents send back videos which the team analyzes and then offers new recommendations for the home program. Community Development Aide, Sunita Bhat’s been calling parents of children who visited our OPD from two-and-a-half years ago onwards, but who didn’t return, to ask after the children and remind them that we’re here for them.
Staff at our other centers are working similarly to keep track of the children’s routine, behavior, and coping, offering advice and sharing professional videos. They emphasize the importance of a time table, and advise on home therapy, how to explain the situation and why school is closed. They encourage parents to involve the children in household chores (dusting, sweeping, folding clothes — whatever chores their child can do), what indoor games to play, and how to maintain hygiene. Our counselors have been busy because it’s a particularly challenging time for many mothers struggling to keep up with the demands of extended family/ in-laws at home all day.
Shubha Nagesh, our Director, Follow-up, and a public health expert has just informed the team that India has seen the biggest rise in cases in 24 hours, with 33,000 cases reported so far, and Dehradun still in the Red Zone.
“When we see cases suddenly on the rise, it means we can do better to control the spread. The only defense we have is staying home and continuing social distancing to prevent further opportunities for infection.”
But life must go on, and what better time to give it our all than when the going gets rough? If you or anyone you know might require our services, please call 843 9000 110. We’ll link you up with our team who will create an individualized plan and help you work with the child at home.
In the meantime: Stay home. Stay safe. And remember we’re here for you.